I love you, big boy. It’s a beautiful fall day and the 50-60 degree weather feels luxurious after we experienced our first hard freeze this weekend. We got out to the park for lunch today and you and Meredith played your hearts out with a new little friend we met. I was glad to see you happy, because it was a rough morning. I don’t really know why. Maybe part of it is Daylight Savings ending, as much as I always groan at the belly-aching that goes down in the Mom community about this little phenomenon. But it seems to have served us up a nice case of crazy today and I’m not sure who had the worst of it – you, me, or Meredith. Anyway, we were all pretty whiny, and getting to the park definitely helped.
You played your heart out outside this week, finally having conquered your fear of bees. With the chilly fall breezes you ended up with badly chapped skin on your lips and cheeks by the end of yesterday. You hate “lip medicine” (Burt’s Bees) because it’s “spicy.” But there was no doubt about it: you were getting Burt’s Bees last night. I was so proud of you for waiting out the yucky feeling and for having the calm to notice that it stopped being spicy eventually and started feeling good. You could feel it healing you. Still, today you’re all chapped and red, bad enough that once you even broke down and asked for the hated medicine. And as much as you pitch a fit, I really have been proud of your growing ability to wait out the yucky parts in life.
Mommy is still learning this one. So very much.
Now you’re asleep on my bed after chugging three cups full of “ice-water-juice” in front of Winnie-the-Pooh and Curious George. I’m so glad you’re asleep. For some reason you’ve been waking up several times in the middle of the night the last two nights. Maybe you’re cold? Maybe you’re getting a cold? It’s impossible to say because still, as you approach your fourth birthday, you hardly have the ability to tune into your own needs and verbalize them. Parenting you as a toddler has been plain old tricky. So I’ve just been giving you comfort when you’re sad and waiting it out with you, and sometimes when you say words of self-awareness I just feel so proud of you.
Speaking of self-awareness and proud mommies. (And please forgive me for writing this stuff, but when you chat eagerly about it at the dinner table with Daddy it is hard for me to feel like it’s off limits.) We reached an Ugh factor last week that is hard to adequately put into words. I won’t tell the full story, just summarize with the report that there were two blow-outs from your darlingly oversized-toddler self that made more mess than on just you. Once I cleaned poop off train tracks while packing up to get out the door on a road trip. And just as I was texting Nana The Pediatrician in complete befuddlement (“I’m getting ready to send him back to the factory.”) the day came. You came in from your blissful play outside and looked right into my eyes with a grin. “Mom, I need to go poop.” So we ran to the bathroom and a few minutes later you were proudly eating a large piece of candy. Oh, my child. We have been working on this for almost a year. I had no idea what a ride this would be. And then the next day, you did it again. It was all you. There was no coaxing from me, no suggesting. It was like that magic day came when you were ready. By all accounts, that day should’ve been long ago given your age, but they do so that it just happens when the kid is ready, and there’s no controlling that.
So here we are? Maybe? And I am a million kinds of proud of you and went out like a crazy lady to buy some Halloween Candy for reserves. You know, for all the pooping to come. Since all awesome parents bribe with candy.
I just love you like crazy. You are a tough kid and completely baffling most of the time and completely impossible half of the time. But you are just my special boy, and I can’t get over the way you hug your sister and passionately help with chores and conscientiously include Jack & Pickwick in your play and then remind me that it’s actually “Pickwick and Jack” not “Jack and Pickwick” and how proud you were of that classy pink tie.
I’m glad God gave me you. Or maybe it’s that He gave you me. I was talking about that at the park today with my new friend: how we wonder at our children – these amazing people all their own, so different from us, so beyond what we could ever cultivate – and we realize how lucky we are that we got picked to be the Mommy.
I love you.